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Vifam7

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About Vifam7

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    New Edwards Test Pilot
  • Birthday March 19

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    Long Island, NY

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  1. Just make sure your camera is charged up and there's plenty of storage space in the memory card. The Boeing factory doesn't allow any cameras, including smartphones, inside though.
  2. Just a few shots of comparing my recently built Hasegawa model to the newly released Calibre Wings diecast. The VF-1 in light gray is the Hasegawa. The Vf-1 in white is the Calibre Wings. My Hasegawa sits a little higher because I fitted F/A-18 Hornet wheels. If I had used the wheels in the kit, it would sit more in line with the Calibre.
  3. I think the difficulty in finding a replacement for the A-10 is trying to figure out what kind of wars the USAF is expected to fight in the future and whether it wants a lower cost replacement to the A-10 or higher cost/spec replacement to the A-10. If the USAF is expected to fight in more low-intensity conflicts where the opposition has little to no anti-aircraft missiles or fighter aircraft force, then the choice is to buy something like the A-29 Super Tucano. If the USAF is expected to fight an enemy that has a credible fighter aircraft force or sophisticated SAM systems, then the choice may be to buy more F-35s. The A-10 is sort of in between. It's overkill for going after jihadists on camels and pickup trucks, but too vulnerable to fly in areas where there are enemy fighters or SAMs. Since it's hard to make the decision on the replacement, perhaps it's just as well that the A-10 goes on for another decade or 2.
  4. Yeah, I would say that this kit is not for the beginner. The hardest part of building this kit is getting the motivation to start the kit and keeping the motivation to work on it. There are just so many things to work on, it's hard to get motivated and once you start, it's easy to lose the motivation due to the seeming lack of progression. Just too easy to get sidetracked by Bandai's gunpla and other snap-fit kits. That said, I'm now working on the Bandai re-pop of the old Imai 1/72 transformable kit. My goal is to put together a lineup of fighter mode VF-1S Valkyries from every manufacturer that made it in 1/72 scale.
  5. I did it. I finally completed my 1/72 Hasegawa VF-1S. This is a kit that I started 7 or 8 years ago. When I first started on this build, I had a number of Gundam kits and ancient Arii 1/100 VF-1S fighter kit under my belt. Thus, I was feeling somewhat confident in being able to take on a Hasegawa kit. Initially, it went well. I got up to a point where the forward fuselage, main body, and legs were put together. But then I started painting some of the built up sub-assemblies and noticed areas that needed more filling and sanding. In addition, I messed up with the painting. The attempt to strip the paint off did not go well and so I started a 2nd Hasegawa VF-1 kit. After building another forward fuselage and pair of legs again, I got tired and completely lost interest in completing the kit. What was done was boxed up and put on the shelf with a promise to come back to it sometime in the future. Then, last year, Calibre Wings announced a diecast version of the VF-1 in 1/72 scale. With that in mind, I decided that I wanted to finish the Hasegawa kit so that I can put it next to the Calibre Wings model and compare them. I pulled out that 2nd kit that I started and began work. And now it is completed! Over the years, I've gained some skills in kit building but it's still not anywhere near what others on this board can accomplish. I painted the main body with Tamiya AS-16 USAF light gray. Instead of using the supplied decals, the black on the tail and both colors on the ventral fins were painted. The black trim stripes on the rear engine section (ie. the legs) were also painted . There was still a lot of decals to put on. While not the craziest amount ever, it's certainly the most of amount of decal work that I've ever done on a kit. Thankfully, the quality of the decals is good (unlike some other kits I worked on in the past). The most difficult part was getting the yellow stripe on the back to conform over the speedbrake. It just wasn't happening for me so I resorted to painting that area. The one thing I did not use from the kit were the landing gear wheels. The wheels included with the kit were so small, thin, and under-detailed that they looked ridiculous. I threw them out and swapped in aftermarket F/A-18 Hornet wheels. I think they really improve the look of the undercarriage. That said, the kit does build into a superb looking VF-1 Valkyrie. The level of panel-line and rivet detail is amazing (something that perhaps only Hasegawa could do to a kit of a fictional aircraft). And to be honest, I am just proud of finally completing this kit. A few more photos below. Canopy looks a bit cloudy due to my poor buffing skills. The panel-line detail is a bit washed out due to lighting, me using a very light gray color for the panel-lining, and these photos being taken via my phone camera (Galaxy S8). Bigger size pics, a few additional pics, and a slightly longer review can be seen here: https://wingedtoys.blogspot.com/2019/08/172-hasegawa-macross-vf-1s-valkyrie.html
  6. If I had to choose just one favorite anime, it would probably be Aim for the Top! Gunbuster. I've watched this anime countless times yet it draws me in everytime and gives me "all the feels". Not to mention the beautiful animation, fantastic action scenes, wonderful music, Mikimoto at his prime, and one of my favorite voice actress, Hidaka Noriko, as the main heroine. Other top anime favorites include Macross: DYRL, Nausicaa, Porco Rosso, the original Area 88 OAVs, and the 0079 Gundam movies. As for manga, my all-time favorite is Hojo Tsukasa's City Hunter. Other favorites include Adachi Mitsuru's Touch and Miyuki, Takahashi Rumiko's Maison Ikkoku and Urusei Yatsura. Admittedly, all of my choices are old school titles from the 20th century. It's not that I don't like the modern titles from the 21st century. It's just that over the years, my tastes have somewhat changed and so it's easier to list the old school favorites (because those are the ones that stood the test of time the longest). Of the 21st century anime titles, I'd say Noir, Girls & Panzer, Yurucamp, and SSSS Gridman are up there. For 21st Century manga titles, favorites currently include Namori's Yuruyuri, Tanigawa Niko's Watamote, Takatsu Karino's Working! , Yanagida Fumita's Tomo-chan is a Girl!, and Mountain Pukuichi's Tamayomi.
  7. Vifam7

    Hi-Metal R

    There's plenty of 3rd party wateslide decals out there. Just go to Ebay and search "Macross decal". There's one Macross decal sheet that's scaled to 1/96 so it might be a perfect fit for HMRs.
  8. The Super Hornet deputy program manager believed differently. https://yarchive.net/mil/fa18_vs_a6.html With regards to the tanker role, both the Super Hornet and KA-6D carry about same amount of fuel that they can buddy transfer. Approximately 16,000lbs. The advantage with the Super Hornet tanker is that it can keep up speed-wise with a strike package and perhaps go along all the way and back.
  9. Here are the comparison pics. Top to bottom - Calibre, Kitz Concept, Bandai I haven't really compared the pilot figures but here's a pic showing the Calibre Roy (left) and the KC Roy (right) sitting in the cockpits. I think the KC figure is better painted but he's very loose in the cockpit. The Calibre figure is secure in the cockpit but it is a bit fiddly to put in due to the long legs. You'll need a toothpick to guide Roy's legs into the Calibre cockpit.
  10. Here's my review of the Calibre Wings 1/72 scale VF-1S diecast model. Keep in mind that this is a model that only comes in fighter mode. It does not transform in to gerwalk or battroid modes. Initial impressions : The model is quite hefty. Almost everything is diecast metal. The only parts that are not metal seems to be the landing gears/covers, the pylons/missiles, and the foot thrusters. The gunpod is a heavy solid chunk of metal! The size : Size-wise, it comes a bit smaller than both the 1/72 Kitz Concept 1/72 and the recent 1/72 Bandai kit. I'd say it's following the scale sizing of the 1/72 Hasegawa. In fact, I'd say the model has taken a good number of cues from the 1/72 Hasegawa. For example, the intakes area is very much Hasegawa style rather than Yamato-Arcadia 1/60v2. However, there are differences - for example, the lower leg area is definitely not from the 1/72 Hasegawa (which is a good thing). The tail fins are also larger - a subtle difference but gets a nod of approval from me as I think it makes the VF-1 more aircraft like. The finish (paint app, markings, panel-lines, etc.) : The model has a gloss/semi-gloss-like finish. I prefer a flat finish but it's OK. Based on photos seen on Calibre's Facebook page, I thought the panel-line wash was going to be way overdone with dark inking but once in hand, I see that it's quite different. The panel-lines have a light gray-ish inking to it and it's decently subtle. The panel-lines molding is a bit thicker than Calibre's own F-14 Tomcat model, but within the norms of diecast aircraft models. There's a fair amount of markings on the model. All the markings have been tampo printed on so no worries about having to apply stickers or water-slide decals. I will note however that the "No Step" markings are printed in black and very tiny so they don't really stand out. Calibre probably should have used red for the "No Step" markings like those provided as decals in the Hasegawa kit. Moving parts : Not many moving parts. Only the wings swing and the canopy opens. That's it. The wheels do not roll. The tow bar does not move. The speedbrake does not open. Such moving parts are generally not needed in a diecast display model and it seems most diecast aircraft collectors tend to not like them so it's just as well that it is the way it is. Optional parts : The model can be displayed with landing gears deployed or in in-flight mode. The model comes in the box with the landing gears attached. The landing gears will come out as a swappable pieces somewhat like the Bandai HMR. Personally I prefer this option over integrated landing gears as it means a more realistic set of legs and wheels. Separate covers are provided for in-flight mode. 4 pylons with AMM-1 missiles are provided. Not sure why but the wash on the pylons & missiles are much darker and dirtier than the rest of the aircraft. The attachment of the pylons to the wings is nothing like the Yamato-Arcadia 1/60v2 or the Bandai Hi-Metal R. And this leads me to the one troublesome issue I found with this model. The attachment of the pylons is via a simple small round peg that goes into a hole in the wing. This wouldn't be a problem if the said peg went in without fuss. Unfortunately, the peg on the pylons are too tall and thick for the holes in the wing. Be prepared for some sanding and trimming of those pegs if you want them to go in and stay in. Maybe use a bit of glue too (more on this below). To be fair, this is nothing unusual for diecast aircraft models. The GU-11 gunpod is ofourse provided as well. The gunpod fits in fine. Amazingly despite being a simple plug-in and the gunpod being a a heavy piece of metal, it stays firmly in. However, due to the weight you might find the barrel-end of the gunpod drop downwards a bit. A bit of Elmer’s white glue when you put in the gunpod will help keep it straight. Just apply the glue, flip the aircraft on it back, and let it dry overnight. Don’t worry about using Elmer’s glue. In fact, for any bits and pieces of diecast models that won’t stay in (like missiles or pylons), it is recommended to use Elmer’s glue as it is super easy to use (just wipe away any excess with a wet Q-tip or tissue) and it won’t attack the paint. It’s also non-permanent, so if you need to remove the pieces, a light tug is all that's needed. Final thoughts : If you want a Hasegawa-like 1/72 scale completed VF-1 model, then this may be just what you want. For me, this is exactly what I wanted. The issues I’ve noted above are nothing what I’d consider to be deal-breakers. Perhaps others may find other issues or details that I have missed. But in my opinion, Calibre has hit a homerun. Now, if they could only do the VF-4… Tomorrow, I will post some photos comparing the Calibre model to the Bandai kit and Kitz Concept toy which are also in 1/72 scale. And now for a few photos :
  11. Buying from Calibre Wings directly might be the quickest way to get their models. Online retailers like Flying Mule and Aiken's Airplanes eventually get them but it takes awhile. BBTS got the Macross-themed Tomcats far ahead of Flying Mule and other diecast aircraft model retailers.
  12. It's here! Hoping to write up a review and post some photos later tomorrow.
  13. For us Macross fans who like cars, it wouldn't hurt to have the Shoji Kawamori designed cars of Future GPX Cyber Formula. These are approximately 1:24 scale plastic&diecast cars from Megahouse.
  14. Not sure if an aircraft launched ABM would be as responsive and effective as a ship-based ABM.
  15. Just to note, the majority of the deAgostini models at TheFlyingMule.com are from deAgostini's "JASDF Collection" series (which has ended). There's another series called the "World War II Masterpiece Collection". This series is still running and concentrates on WWII aircraft. Also, the models in this series are all 1/72 scale. The listing for it here: https://deagostini.jp/ww2/cmc.php?from=1&to=10
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